[Presidential Decision Directives - PDD]


In April 1994, a new program of cooperation on nuclear materials protection, control, and accounting (MPC&A) was initiated between (1) the US Department of Energy and its laboratories and (2) nuclear institutes and enterprises of the Russian Federation. One purpose of the program is to accelerate progress toward a goal that is vital to the national security interests of both countries: reducing the risk of nuclear weapons proliferation by strengthening MPC&A systems. The program has made significant progress and has expanded to include many additional Russian participants. It has also fostered a spirit of mutual understanding, partnership, and respect between US and Russian nuclear specialists, which has paved the way for advances in other MPC&A and nuclear security cooperative efforts.

The US Department of Energy (DOE) is cooperating with Russia, the Newly Independent States (NIS), the Baltics, and and the Ukrainian Government to help prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons through the improvement of national systems of nuclear material protection, control, and accounting (MPC&A). US cooperation with Russia is carried out under the DOE MPC&A Program and the Ninn-Lugar funded Cooperative Threat Reduction program for Russia. Presidential Decision Directive (PDD)-41 designated DOE as the government agency with primary responsibility for MPC&A efforts in Russia, the NM, and Baltics. Cooperation is conducted in coordination with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) for the development of a strong, independent national regulatory agency in Russia. DOE also coordinates these efforts with the European Community and other countries.

(Text: White House statement)


Following is the text of the White House statement:

(begin text)

Today, the United States is taking another step to reduce the nuclear threat. The president has directed his administration to launch an accelerated plan to improve the security of nuclear materials. Working with Russia and the other states of the former Soviet Union, we will deepen out cooperation to reduce the risk of illicit transfers of nuclear weapons, fissile materials, and other dangerous nuclear and radioactive substances to states or terrorists.

Even as the threat of nuclear war recedes, we must confront the urgent challenge of ensuring that nuclear weapons and materials do not fall into the wrong hands. For that reason, President Clinton has made the security of nuclear materials a matter of the highest priority. Already we have achieved an unprecedented level of direct cooperation among our governments. U.S. nuclear material security experts are now working closely with their counterparts at more than two dozen sites across the former Soviet Union to identify and remedy potential weaknesses in systems designed to protect nuclear materials. These efforts complement other initiatives to increase nuclear material security -- such as the shipment of highly-enriched uranium out of Kazakhstan for safekeeping under Operation Sapphire; the transfer of nuclear weapons from Ukraine to Russia for dismantlement; and the agreement with Russia under which 500 metric tons of highly-enriched uranium from nuclear warheads are already being converted to much safer low-enriched uranium fuel for electricity production in civilian nuclear reactors.

The directive we are issuing today calls for concrete steps to deepen and accelerate our cooperation with the FSU to protect, control and account for nuclear materials; to continue our joint efforts to assure the security of nuclear weapons themselves; and to increase the integration of our diplomatic, law enforcement and intelligence efforts.

Working together, we are reducing the nuclear danger we all face and making the lives of the American people, and people around the world, safer. (end text)